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1965 Chevy 1/2-Ton

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Owned by John Smith
Bolter # 26358
Tampa Bay, FL

Join the talk about this truck
in the DITY Gallery

07 February 2011
# 2866

More pictures of my old truck

From John :

I found “Isabelle” while running some errands. I kept an eye on her and eventually the "For Sale" sign went up. I called and got the information. After several more drive-by’s, I brought my wife to see her. She fell in love at first sight. So after a little haggling on the price, she was ours.

We started talking about the renovation and how far we wanted to go. The body was in pretty good shape, but the interior was shot. The drivetrain was claimed to have been rebuilt, but I knew better. It would require a little work, but nothing major appeared out of order.

We completely gutted the interior, wire brushed and acid washed it, primed and painted it. We installed sound deadening insulation and then thick pile carpet on the floor.

I didn’t like the looks of the wiring harness – too many cuts and splices over the years. So every inch of wire came out and we started from scratch with the help of an after-market kit.

We installed an almost new gauge package (less than 500 miles) that I found in an estate sale. A chrome steering column replaced the junk yard one that was in it. HD radio and marine speakers gave the cab a great sound.

Since we live in Florida, air conditioning is a must have item.

At first we were not going to have power windows, but we just could not resist.

We found a very talented shop to re-upholster the seat and the side panels to match.

The glass all around was pitted and scratched. New glass installation proved easy enough except for the windshield. It took us several tries before we finally figured out that the factory manual is wrong and you have to start at the top first, not the bottom. Then it went in with three of us wrestling it.

The gas tank had a whole bunch of rust in it. So for the extra dollars, we decided to just replace it. We didn’t want fuel problems.

The engine is the original 283. It ran strong when we got her, but really needed a carb overhaul. So instead, we added aluminum intake and chrome Holley carb. I couldn’t resist adding the silver powder coated full competition Hooker Headers. I believe points are too old school for a daily driver so out went the old and it was replaced with an Accel electronic distributor. An Eldelbrock high flow water pump was chosen -- remember we live in Florida – we need lots of cooling. This we coupled with a triple core aluminum radiator and twin 2500 CFM electric fans. Even idling with the a/c running, it stays nice and cool. A high output chrome alternator and valve covers completed the engine work.

We are in the process of painting her blue and white. New Craiger S/S rims and Dunlap 265 x 70 x 15 radials are her wheels and tires now. We’ve added chrome bumpers, chrome grille, replaced all the lights, new mirrors, and all new rubber seals. The cab is complete.

Presently the bed is off the truck, as we are just beginning it's renovation. The oak panels look good so we may get away with just replacing the rails. I am still fixing little items, so she hasn’t been driven yet, but soon.



In May 2011, John also send in a Gallery submission for his 1953 Chevy 5-window 1/2-ton. ~ Editor


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